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September 21 is World Gratitude Day
Being grateful isn't just happy talk
Today is World Gratitude Day.
In 2017, I couldn’t have imagined when I wrote Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks that what I learned would help me get through a global pandemic or these years of political stress and crisis here in the United States! During recent years, when I felt the most despair and the deep pain of isolation, I remembered my own words:
Gratitude is resilience of sorts, the defiance of kindness in the face of anger, of connection in the face of division, and of hope in the face of fear. . . Gratitude empowers us. It makes joy and love possible. It rearranges the way we see and experience what is all around us. Gratitude makes all things new. It transforms how we understand what is broken and gives us the ability to act more joyfully and with hope. That is why gratitude is central to all the world’s religions. As a practice, it embodies the wisdom of humanity’s greatest spiritual teachers: the love of neighbor. Gratitude takes us from abstract belief to living compassion in the world. Gratitude is strongest, clearest, most robust, and radical when things are really hard. Really hard. All-is-lost hard.
Gratefulness isn’t easy and isn’t just hearts-and-flowers. It can be tough in tough times. But a dogged commitment to the giftedness of life can deepen our spiritual capacity to make it through circumstances that threaten to overwhelm us.
Being grateful isn’t a magic wand or kind of prosperity mantra. Rather, it rearranges the way we see the world. As we practice redirecting our attention toward the gifts in our lives, gratitude lessens our fears, strengthens our hearts, and builds our resilience.
You may need to be reminded of that today. Someone you know might benefit from a kind word of appreciation or the encouragement of “thank you.” Take time to count your blessings, thank someone, and pay it forward on this World Gratitude Day.
Be part of a global movement of gratefulness.
When you are grateful, you are not fearful, and when you are not fearful, you are not violent. When you are grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share.
If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people and respectful to all people. The grateful world is a world of joyful people.
Grateful people are joyful people. A grateful world is a happy world.
— Brother David Steindl-Rast
Enjoy this wonderful video, A Grateful Day with Brother David Steindl-Rast, from the online community, Grateful.org.
The ZOOM link for today’s THIRD THURSDAY gathering at 3PM EASTERN with singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer will arrive in a separate email around noon today.
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To the human ear, music echoes the deepest grandeur and
the most sublime intimacy of the soul…
It evokes a world where that ancient beauty can resonate in us again.
— John O’Donohue
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Gratitude, it happens,
needs less room to grow
than one might think—
is able to find purchase
on even the slenderest
of ledges, is able
to seed itself
in even the poorest of soils.
Just today, I marveled
as a small gratitude
in the desert of me—
like a juniper tree
growing out of red rock.
If I hadn’t felt it myself,
I might not
have believed it—
but it’s true,
one small thankfulness
can slip into an arid despair
and with it comes
a change in the inner landscape,
the scent of evergreen.
— Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, “Gratitude”
In the gap of surprise before the first thought, the powerful surge of an intelligence that far surpasses thought takes hold of us. We can make our thinking a tool of this creative intelligence that constantly brings forth and sustains the world. If we willingly open ourselves to its gentle force, it has power to change whatever is not in tune with it. Gratitude is thinking in tune with the cosmic intelligence that inspires us in grateful moments.
It can change more than a mood; it can change a world.
— Brother David Steindl-Rast